hug a muslim 2
Meditation and Reflection

Peacemaking needs peacemakers

 

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” And that includes Muslim peacemakers, because Jesus didn’t say ‘Blessed only are the Christian peacemakers’ or ‘Blessed only are the Jewish peacemakers’. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” If you work to make peace, you are a child of God.

But an awful lot of Christians prefer to talk about peace rather than bother making it. In fact, there are so many committees, meetings, conferences and community development projects dedicated to talking about peace that making it hardly gets a look in. We observe the rise of ‘networks’ of ‘specialists’ who listen to the ‘concerns’ of ‘stakeholders’ and help them ‘identify’ their ‘needs’ to develop a ‘strategy’ for ‘effective change’. Theoretical method and proposals for process have supplanted doing and being.

In a world of rapid social change, increasing political dissatisfaction, anti-establishment feeling, inter-cultural tensions and personal insecurity, peacemaking is the bridge between all differences and disconnections. It is the only route to reconcile communities; the only way of healing the wounds of dissolution and the griefs of estrangement.

By all means, talk about religious identity, cultural history, political tradition and moral relativity. Our warring past illuminates our fractious present and determines the state of our future. But words about bold initiatives, programmes and projects are not doing. Holy meditations or shared conversations about differing beliefs are no substitute for going to your neighbour and telling him to his face that you love him. Peacemaking demands humility and sacrifice. It might even involve abasement, embarrassment and humiliation. Peacemaking involves personal cost, because in the demonstration is an inner transformation. It isn’t about the sacrifice of time: it is about the emptying of self.

There are thousands if not millions of Christians who talk and write about peace and the need to create and sustain it. There aren’t enough owning it, embracing it and making it. We have the power to end spiritual disturbance and the potential to mitigate relational dissent. The Prince of Peace has shown us the way: he called the peacemaker ‘blessed’ – whatever their religion. The objective is not to end civil strife and stop all political conflict: it is individually to promote those social and spiritual relationships which remove the causes of conflict: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace‘ (Js 3:18).

If all those thousands and millions of Christians who talk and write about peace were to transcend the theories of wellbeing and actually make shalom, the Body of Christ would run the race of its life.

Pax.

  • Martin

    Of course it could be said that Christianity doesn’t bring peace:

    Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
    (Luke 12:51-53 [ESV])

    • Ivan M

      It is not that kind of war. Nobody gets beheaded in the Jesus wars, at least as He envisaged it. Estrangement, exile, loss of inheritance is what happens when someone turns to follow Jesus.

      • Martin

        Ivan

        Steven got stoned.

  • Dreadnaught

    If the bloke in the picture was carrying out his stunt in Crucifiction Sq in Raqqa it would have made more sense – if he came home with his head still on that is.

    • Ivan M

      At best he is preaching to the converted.

  • Orwell Ian

    A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:8)

    Question is, what time is it? After each atrocity committed by a Muslim we hear the same shocked disbelief. He was a lovely person, we played football, went to the same school etc. or she wouldn’t have wanted to blow herself up, she partied and loved life, she must have been brainwashed. True? or was passivity just camouflage to hide their real intentions?

    A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

    Be careful which hoodies you hug.

    • @ Orwell Ian—camouflage to hide their real intentions

      Islam gives its blessing to deception. From the book of Islamic law, Reliance of the Traveller:

      r8.2 If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.

      r10.3 Scholars say that there is no harm in giving a misleading impression if required by an interest countenanced by Sacred Law that is more important than not misleading the person being addressed.

      Muslim conquest is without doubt ‘a praiseworthy aim’ and ‘an interest countenanced by Sacred Law’.

  • Notforinfants

    ““Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” ”
    Indeed so, but the context as always when quoting Scripture is all important.
    In that context of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was talking personally to his own disciples and all that follows is largely about personal relationships with other brethren and sisters.
    That context does not apply to international organisations, political parties, religious groups of any stripe though of course all of these can and should benefit from applying such principles where possible.
    In the matter of Moslem peace-making. Of course individual Moslems, Christians, or those of any other faith can engage with others on that personal level. However with collective Islam, and particularly the death cult of so called Islamic State, there can be no such fraternal discussions, no moves towards ‘peace-making with those who are dedicated to imposing the Islamic tenet of submission or else face violent death.

  • dannybhoy

    “There are thousands if not millions of Christians who talk and write about peace and the need to create and sustain it. There aren’t enough owning it, embracing it and making it. We have the power to end spiritual disturbance and the potential to mitigate relational dissent. The Prince of Peace has shown us the way: he called the peacemaker ‘blessed’ – whatever their religion.”
    Cutting.

    Very cutting.
    Now I believe in the Bible. I believe that every Christian wherever they live should reach out to everybody in their community with love.
    -Of course you have to pray and plan how you do it. As our Lord said, we are to be “As wise as serpents and harmless as doves..”
    What we have to consider is where we live, and how we live.

    • IanCad

      When entering Muslim communities to preach Christ crucified we would be quite literally following the Great Commission: “—-and teach all nations;—“ For, truly, in general, the Islamic centers of this land are islands separate from those who profess loyalties to the UK.

      It is not without hazard that a lay preacher, confessing that Christ is the Son of God, would knock on doors in Bradford or Rotherham. Even more dangerous is it for anyone from a Muslim family to embrace the truth of the Christian faith.

      Far from endorsing western values of freedom of thought and conscience it is a sorry fact that such mores are in the main rejected by too many who enjoy our hospitality.

      It would take a very brave Muslim indeeed who would, not only become an outcast, but face the very real threat of extreme violence, perhaps beheading, if he – or even worse, she – were to follow the call of Christ.

      • dannybhoy

        My point is the human race lives in communities. We are as I have said many times before, tribal.
        Not all are called to be missionaries or evangelists. The vast majority of Christians are ordinary folk whose lives should reflect the love and service that comes through Salvation, and be ready to give an account for ‘the hope that is within us”.
        ot
        The Telegraph allows you a certain number of freebie vids etc and then you have to sign up…

      • Pubcrawler

        “It would take a very brave Muslim indeeed who would, not only become an outcast, but face the very real threat of extreme violence, perhaps beheading, if he – or even worse, she – were to follow the call of Christ.”

        Yup:
        https://barnabasfund.org/news/editorial-british-convert-to-christ-hospitalised-after-being-brutally-beaten-outside-his-home

        (At the time of writing you will search in vain for any report about this on the BBC.)

        The Telegraph has been paywalled after a number of free page views per month for a few years now. But why would anyone want to read it now anyway? It’s little more than the broadsheet version of the Grauniad these days.

        • IanCad

          How absolutely awful!
          And a hairdresser in Bicester is arrested for merely refusing service to Muslims after the Paris murders.

          • DanJ0

            That was bizarre. She should have been prosecuted under the Equality Act 2010 if she followed through with it.

          • IanCad

            Apparently she didn’t refuse service; just posted her intention on Twitter or Facebook.

        • DanJ0

          No paywall if you activate incognito mode on your browser. For ie I think it’s ctrl-shift-p.

          • CliveM

            Thanks!

          • IanCad

            Thanks DanJ0. It works!
            I shall content myself in future with the twenty free articles per month.
            $6.00 is a bit steep. $2.00 would be more like it.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Peace sometimes requires us to stand up to evil, unless you mean the kind of peace that you get from bullet through the head. I personally refuse to succumb to the typically British notion that what is happening with Islam is all our fault, and if only we had remembered to be nicer to Mohammed next door, then all those people in Paris would still be alive. I don’t think peace-making necessarily means rolling over and accepting all the blame.

    With yet another example of Islamo-savagery unfolding today in Mali, I think every non-Muslim needs to wake up to the fact that if groups like ISIL are not annihilated, then we will certainly be peaceful – six feet under the ground peaceful.

    • dannybhoy

      It’s not all our fault, but in recent years where we* have intervened we have made things worse.

      *The royal ‘we’, meaning the Western world.
      “and if only we had remembered to be nicer to Mohammed next door, then all those people in Paris would still be alive. I don’t think peace-making necessarily means rolling over and accepting all the blame.”

      This I totally agree with, which is why I made the link to our Christian brothers and sisters who are being killed, raped, decapitated simply for being second class (Christian) citizens in a Muslim nation.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        You are right db, that we should not meddle in other countries, changing regimes, and taking sides in civil wars. I think there are some wars which need to be fought, and some which don’t. Unlike Britain’s other Middle Eastern ventures, this one needs to be fought and won in my opinion. The war goes beyond military action of course. Unfortunately, I don’t think many of our secular friends appreciate the power of the spiritual dimension to the conflict with Islam.

  • Philip___

    While it is good when Muslims seek peace, it is misleading to use the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” to claim any ‘peacemaker’ is a child of God. The Sermon on the Mount, and Matthew’s Gospel as a whole, is a Christian document written for Christian discipleship. The Sermon brings the ethical demands of the Kingdom of God (The “Kingdom of Heaven” as Matthew has it) that Jesus came to inaugurate. The purpose is to 1) show God’s ethical and moral standards are so high (e.g. 5v21-22, 27-28, 38-48) compared to non-Christian ones that it is impossible to merit salvation, thus driving us to our Saviour, and 2) the moral and ethical standards of Christian discipleship, which the Christian can increasingly live to through the power of Christ. The Bible is clear one can only become a child of God through faith in Christ (John 1v12), and in Matt 5v9 adhering to the command to be peacemakers means Christians are called, seen to be, what they are – children of God, as they show the character of their peacemaking Father.

  • Coniston

    “By all means, talk about religious identity, cultural history, political tradition and moral relativity”. Unfortunately the Thought Police would soon be after you. To talk about any of these things would be deemed ‘offensive’.

  • Busy Mum

    The word ‘peace’ is subjective though.
    I am not an expert in these matters but I am under the impression that for Muslims, ‘peace’ will only have been attained when every resident of this planet has submitted to Islam.
    In which case, jihadists are ‘peacemakers’.

  • carl jacobs

    If you wish to be a peacemaker between nations, then you should join the Army. There is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount about the relationship between (say) Carthage and Rome.

    There is in this discussion however a projection of a modern conception of peace onto the text – a conception wrapped in an idolatrous understanding of man himself. Modern man – the “progressing” man – believes he can overcome human nature and by exertion of human will abolish conflict. He works to immanentize the eschaton for an immanent eschaton is the only eschaton he allows.

    A world without war achieved by man himself Is not the vision of the Sermon on the Mount. Men will never be able to beat swords into plowshares prior to the return of the Son of Man. God is not superfluous to the realization of that outcome. He isn’t simply a vehicle for carrying a vision. War is a result of sin, and sin is intrinsic to human nature. So long as sinful man exists, war will exist.

    Ah, but if we deny the reality of sin, then so much becomes possible. Well, that’s the theory anyways. It’s really just one more way of saying “I shall be like the Most High.”

    • dannybhoy

      “He works to immanentize the eschaton for an immanent eschaton is the only eschaton he allows.”
      Wot?!
      What I do understand I agree with, but that sentence needs translating!

      • CliveM

        Thank you DB.

      • IanCad

        As far as I know, Carl is not an architect. I’ve long believed that they hold the crown for the most incomprehensible jargon.
        What he has written may make sense after a little study. Architects never do.

        • carl jacobs

          No, not an architect. And that was not incomprehensible jargon. It was … a carefully constructed sentence using the proper selection of words.

          The problem of course is that the English no longer speak English.

          • Jack thought it a sound comment but plain English may have been better.

          • carl jacobs

            It was perfectly plain English. And anyways.

            William F Buckley was right. James J Kilpatrick was wrong.

            James Jackson Kilpatrick, in his book ”The Writer’s Art,” takes a position on the dogmatic side against the use of unfamiliar words and cites me [WFB], however kindly, as a prodigious offender (the Lord delivered Kilpo into my hands, because his proscriptive passage against long & unusual words contained four long & unusual words). Mr. Kilpatrick likes to quote Westbrook Pegler, who denounced the use of what he called ”out of town words.”

            …[J]ust as the discriminating ear greets gladly the C augmented 11th when just the right harmonic moment has come for it, so the fastidious eye encounters happily the word that says exactly what the writer wished not only said but conveyed, the writer here defined as a performing writer sensitive to cadence, variety, marksmanship, accent, nuance and drama.

            https://www.nytimes.com/books/00/07/16/specials/buckley-bigwords.html

          • dannybhoy

            That’s fighting talk!
            It’s actually a specialised form of English most people would not be familiar with. Even amongst Christians.
            So get down off your high horse and drink your milk..

          • carl jacobs

            An American would have understood. But that’s probably just our natural American genius with language.

          • dannybhoy

            “An American would have understood. ”
            Ha!
            Isn’t ‘Merica the land of the Jedi Church???
            Try that sentence on one of their followers…
            :0)

          • IanCad

            I wasn’t taking a swipe at you Carl. What I was saying was, that your erudition is often above lesser mortals.
            For what it is worth, I have previously opined on this blog, that in my experience Americans are, in general, both better writers and speakers than we in the UK.
            Maybe there should be a “William F. Buckley Day.”.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I knew you weren’t taking a swipe at me. 🙂 That’s why I included the ellipses. The honest truth is that I used ‘eschaton’ because it made for a more compact and poetic sentence. Try replacing it with “the kingdom of heaven on earth” and you will see just how clumsy the sentence becomes. I actually thought that people here would recognize the phrase.

            I’m all for a WFB Day. If I write well, it’s because I read so much of what he either wrote or edited.

          • IanCad

            Edit that last paragraph right now!!!

          • carl jacobs

            I caught the “right” vs “write” as soon as I posted. You should always give me a few minutes to make edits after I post. People may say I write well, but I manifestly do not type well.

          • IanCad

            Yeah, that wasn’t very fair. I always edit after posting as you may have seen in my prior post.

          • CliveM

            Carl, Carl, Carl do what I do and blame it on predictive.

            Sometimes it’s even true .

          • IanCad

            I should have noted that I subscribed to National Review for many years. It was going downhill when I found a link to HG’s blog.

          • CliveM

            I see you amended right, before I could point it out!!

            Darn it.

          • carl jacobs

            If I hadn’t caught it first, I would have simply said it was intentional self-deprecating humor. The possibility of error on my part is just … inconceivable.

          • CliveM

            Of course…….

      • carl jacobs
      • Translation: “trying to make heaven on earth.” as the solution to injustice in the world rather than accept God and the fallen nature of man.
        (It is a phrase made popular by a well known Catholic conservative writer)

        • Inspector General

          No such thing as the fallen nature of man, Jack. We are as we were created to be. In many ways, we are better now than we started out. Any complaint regarding our ‘failings’ should be directed to our creator. He needs to know, as if he didn’t plan us this way….

          • Now you are making God the author of evil, Inspector. Human knowledge progresses – not the nature of man.

          • Inspector General

            A non sequitur if ever there was. God author of evil.

          • Then explain how evil came into being in a universe created by a God of Love.

          • Inspector General

            God is logic. Perhaps he did not know good or evil before man.

          • *sigh*

          • Inspector General

            Don’t worry your little head about it, Jack.

          • *sigh*
            Look up the term “omniscient”, Inspector. God’s knowledge does not ‘evolve’; he learns nothing from man. Evil is the absence of good; and the absence of good is rebellion against the will of God.
            Indeed, why not research the Christian understanding of the attributes of God.

          • Inspector General

            Be off with you…

          • The Church celebrates “Christ the King” tomorrow, Inspector.

    • Tutanekai

      “Sinful” man will exist until he evolves into something else, or becomes extinct.

      Nothing about humans suggests that we have any capacity for perfection. We’re just highly developed apes after all. The species we evolve into will be more highly developed than we are. But until then, we are what we are.

      It’s (yet another) demonstration of religious ignorance to think that all or even a majority of secularists believe in a secular paradise. Some few utopians do, but you can’t judge all secularists by the unrealistic dreams of a tiny minority of idealists. Most of us know who we are, warts and all. And we know that perfection is an unreachable goal.

      Man is improvable, which even the Church believes, as evidenced by the emphasis it places on education. But he is not perfectible in the sense that he’ll never reach perfection.

      Perfection is a dream and a fantasy fueled by dissatisaction with the limits imposed on our lives by imperfection. All religions have their origins in this disconnect between reality and desire. But as they all spring from the same urge that inspired writers like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling to weave their tales of fantasy, its

      • The Explorer

        Coming between a Christian and his God delusion is fraught with danger. Afraid he’ll blow you up when he activates his suicide belt?

        • Tutanekai

          You’re all on the same path, just at different stages along it. A few hundred years ago Christians were burning people alive. Is that better than being blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber?

          Condemn Muslim fanatics as much as you like. I condemn them too. But I also recognise that they aren’t doing anything that Christians haven’t done before them.

          So nowadays you’re discouraged from murdering those who refuse to be converted to your faith. But who knows what you’ll do in the future? We certainly know what you did in the past.

          Already there are Christian pastors calling for gays and trans people and women who’ve had abortions to be put to death. Already there are Christian priests driving young people to suicide by teaching them to hate and despise themselves.

          As Western society gears up for what looks as though it will be a long and bloody combat with fanatics of one religion, fanatics of another are plotting the downfall of certain minorities from within Europe with just as much zeal.

          Count up the number of young gay people who’ve taken their own lives because of persecution by their families and faith communities, then compare that number to the victims in Paris and you’ll find there isn’t such a great difference. If IS has blood on its hands, so does the Christian Church.

          By all means, let’s pound Raqqa into a parking lot. And then what city, or what comic opera independent enclave within another nation’s capital city should we turn our attention to?

          I say “should” although it will never happen. The rest of the world in its incapacity to distinguish between massive and overbearing triumphal architecture and real artistic merit would forbid the destruction of the overdecorated railway station from whence the Pope plies his evil trade in stigmatisation and defamatory doctrine. Personally I’d send in the wrecking balls and good riddance to the place. But the decision won’t be mine, unfortunately. Such a shame…

          • The Explorer

            You make it sound as if without Christianity, persecution of gays would disappear.

            But the decade-long ritual of Friday night ‘queer bashing’ wasn’t initiated or conducted by Christians. David Copeland , the Admiral Duncan nail bomber, doesn’t give much evidence of having been a Christian. Even Matthew Shepard is now thought to have been the victim, not of religious zealots, but of a fellow gay drug dealer.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Did you see Diarmaid MacCulloch’s series on “Sex and the Church”?

            The C of E actually led the way towards repealing those 19th century laws against homosexuality.

          • The Explorer

            Good point. I wonder if Tutanekai saw it?

          • Tutanekai

            The poisonous legacy of Christian beliefs such as homosexuality being an “abomination” still pollutes our society and influences the attitudes of those who do not even identify as Christian.

            The danger this represents for the gay community is very real. Popular culture is influenced by deeply ingrained Christian bigotry and hatred while remaining impervious to its more rarified ideas of non-violence and non-judgment. Thugs understand thuggery, but tell a thug he should love his enemy and he ‘ll just laugh at you.

            When a priest says gays are evil but, by the way, you shouldn’t really beat them senseless or murder them because that wouldn’t be nice, the average thug hears only the first part: gays are evil. So he feels completely justified in beating them senseless or murdering them. The Church validates his actions by providing him with a reason to hate gays. It does nothing to stop him. In fact it encourages him to act by promising him forgiveness after the fact. So the thug can maim or kill as many gays as he likes and still go to heaven.

            The Church has always used the fear of violence to keep the gay community in check. It preaches hatred knowing full well that violence will be the result, and then disclaims all responsibility for that violence while congratulating itself on the result. Gays driven underground and living in fear pose no challenge to the Church’s position of power and influence.

            It’s one more example of Christian hypocrisy, if any were needed. Is there anything more morally bankrupt than a Christian priest? In all of human history no other class of confidence trickster has been able to manipulate so many people into committing so many crimes against humanity while claiming complete innocence. To add insult to injury, in public they beat their breasts and lament the results of their dirty work, while in private they congratulate themselves on a job well done.

            Gay marriage banned by constitutional amendment in Slovenia? Great! At last a country where those dirty queers will be forced to understand how inferior they are to normal people, and where Christian homophobia can be nurtured in the hope that it can be propagated to the rest of the world.

            That’s the reality of the Church for the gay community. An implacable enemy dedicated to making the world as inhospitable a place as possible for all gays.

          • The Explorer

            I’d say the thug is far more likely to have been influenced by some potted version of Darwinism. That was certainly true of the Nazis, and the breeding of the Master Race.

          • Tutanekai

            The homophobic legacy of Christianity has influenced many cultural attitudes.

            Hatred of the Jews. Hatred of gays. The imposition of a subservient role on women. All these attitudes were institutionalised and inculturated by Christianity.

            Other movements and philosophies have drawn on these influences, but the ultimate responsibility for them lies with the Church.

          • The Explorer

            Wow, that’s quite an impressive catalogue! Let’s try and extend it, though. Christian-inspired homophobia drove the priests of Baal (and of Bali, if they had them). and resistance to John Barleycorn. It drove the Aztec priests, Jack the Ripper, the Moors murderers, Fred West (he killed at least one male) and Dr Shipman; and it fuels scepticism about climate change because Brighton has/had? a Green MP.

          • Tutanekai

            Christians aren’t the only homophobes in the world. Other religions on other continents also hate gays, for many of the same reasons Christians do.

            Anything that threatens patriarchal power has always been considered dangerous and subversive. For those who wield patriarchal power, of course.

            Christianity is however guilty of the institutionalisation and ritualisation of homophobia on a scale unlike any other religion except perhaps Islam. Making homophobia an unnegotiable tenet of its religion means it has created an implacable enemy who can only prosper if the Church does not.

            Is it any surprise that the Church is not prospering in countries where the gay community does? Seen the latest figures from the Catholic Church in Germany? If it keeps haemorrhaging members at this rate, it’ll cease to exist in less than a generation.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, I think you’re quite right that where the gay community prospers the Church doesn’t, and vice versa.
            I think you’re also right about the Church decline in Germany. Gays and Muslims in Germany are prospering alike in its place. Interesting to see which of those two groups will emerge as the victor over the other.

          • Tutanekai

            Islam is under pressure in Europe. Secularisation doesn’t just affect Christianity, and as immigration is restricted further and further, Muslim communities will not be replenished from abroad.

            The current wave of refugees is a blip in a downwards trend that will see Islam follow Christianity into effective irrelevance. The gay community therefore has every chance of continuing to prosper in secular security.

        • carl jacobs

          The cool thing about Linus kicking his French persona to the curb is that it explains why his English was so good. Just one more deception among many.

          • The Explorer

            If he’s English It certainly explains why his English was so good. It doesn’t explain why his knowledge of France was so good. And it was, as I can confirm as someone who has lived there.

          • bluedog

            It has to be Linus, the use of language is identical. But his mother was English, he had lived in England, there’s no reason why one cannot be equally at home in either the UK or France; for hundreds of years the culture was a common one.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. Being bi-cultural is perfectly possible. It’s just that Linus claimed to be resident in France; whereas Tutanekai, who is the same person, claims to be resident in Britain.

          • bluedog

            Perhaps Linus’ romantic liaisons have led him back to Brighton.

          • CliveM

            Well as France has a serious homophobia problem he probably decided to move where he felt safer.

            Secular societies!!

          • The Explorer

            And it may be that when Linus was Linus, rather than Tootles, he was in Britain all the time: replacing the fantasy he accuses us of with a fantasy of his own. (Or maybe he gave away too much about himself, and is now trying to cover his tracks. Either way, it’s the ideas expressed that matter; rather than the gratuitous personal details that may, or may not, be erroneous.)

          • CliveM

            Yes the one, welcome, change is that we get less about him.

            Rest of it? Well it all seems pretty repetitive to me.

      • carl jacobs

        Meanwhile … at a French Castle somewhere in England …

        You don’t frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person! Ah blow my nose at you, and your so-called “god Keeeng! You and all your silly English Knnnnnnnn-ighuts!!!

      • William Lewis

        An irrational comment from an irrational mind from an irrational process from an irrational slime.

        God is love.

        If I’m wrong, who cares? It doesn’t matter. If I’m right, there cannot be a higher calling.

        BTW I’m right.

        • Tutanekai

          Prove it then.

          Oops, that’s just what you can’t do, isn’t it?

          In the absence of proof, I won’t be taking your deranged and obsessive word for anything. You just don’t inspire trust or confidence.

          All that “blessed are the peacemakers” and “turn the other cheek” piffle rings very hollow when it’s barked by the rabid attack dogs on this wretched site. The stench of hypocrisy rises from this place and provides one more reason not to believe a single word you say.

          • William Lewis

            “In the absence of proof, I won’t be taking your deranged and obsessive word for anything. You just don’t inspire trust or confidence.”

            Suit yourself.

            “The stench of hypocrisy rises from this place and provides one more reason not to believe a single word you say.”

            Your visceral overreaction notwithstanding, that Christians are hypocrites in transition is already established in the Bible. We are sinners just like you. Indeed St Paul speaks of his frequient inability to act the way he knows to be right. So this really isn’t news. Neither does it establish the veracity of our claims one way or the other. Indeed, if anything, it rather adds to the coherency of the evidence before you.

          • Tutanekai

            Coherent? All the evidence I see on this blog points very clearly and coherently towards the utter inability of Christianity, which prides itself on being a perfecting religion, to make a blind bit of difference to the savage, viscious and hateful natures of those who believe in it.

            By their fruit shall ye know them, after all.

            Real Christians shouldn’t be hypocrites. It says so in the Bible. Real Christians should exhibit love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. So why are the people on this blog and in every Christian church I’ve ever encountered full of hate, misery, belligerence, quick-tempered attacks, hard-heartedness, hypocrisy and faithlessness? They’re among the worst people you could ever have the misfortune to meet.

            So where’s the Holy Spirit and its perfecting power making saints out of all true believers? Conspicuous by its absence, isn’t it? What the Bible says will happen if you believe in god, does not.

            And there you have it. Strong proof Christianity is all a load of old cobblers and that Christians are merely fooling themselves into believing their own propaganda – which given their deplorable behaviour, takes some doing. How can you read virtually anything you write without asking yourself why this perfecting religion of yours is having no effect on you? Because your holy book says it should be.

            But then swallowing tall stories hook, line and sinker is what Christians are good at, isn’t it?

          • William Lewis

            “Real Christians shouldn’t be hypocrites. It says so in the Bible.”

            I repeat; real Christians are sinners and hypocrites in transition. We are all work in progress. It says so in the Bible. Nevertheless I know many Christians who do indeed exhibit the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. These fruits are available to us all but we aren’t necessarily filled with the Spirit as much as we could/should be.

            Personally I think that the reaction you get on this site and, probably in life, is rather mild considering the puerile baiting, deception and vitriol that keeps emerging from your various persona.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Come to church. Spend time there. An online forum is neither a church nor a community. When you share smiles with the person who once only wept, or shake hands with the person whose life was once ending, or you play with the child who doctors said would never come – it is harder than anything on earth to cling to hard-heartedness, and easier than all things under heaven to have faith.

          • Tutanekai

            A rational man cannot base his faith on anecdotes and heart-warming, highly subjective and intricately embroidered stories of miraculous transformations and cures.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Quite so. Which is why you should come to church and spend time there. I certainly wouldn’t base my faith on anecdotes. My faith is rooted in the specific and concrete longterm and miraculous transformations I have witnessed.

          • Tutanekai

            If your faith is rooted in specific “longterm” transformations (i.e. self-reporting over whatever time period you determine to be “longterm”, which I’m guessing varies wildly from case to case), then it’s rooted in anecdotes.

            Unless you have independently verified evidence that doesn’t rely on the dishonesty of individuals determined to make people think the best of them, your beliefs are based on anecdotes. People lie. Especially when they think there’s something to be gained by it.

            Show me a Christian who claims a miraculous transformation and I’ll show you a situation with little or no documented proof of anything, and where everything rides on accepting the dubious word of an individual who craves attention and love and will do or say anything to get them. “I was blind and now I see” translates as “look at me, look at ME!”

          • grutchyngfysch

            When I first met my friend, her eyes were so sunken with drug abuse you would have thought she was stepping out of the grave. Her arms still bear the most horrific scars – but none of them are fresh. They ended when she gave her life to Jesus. The addiction ended the night she asked for it to end and the Holy Spirit took it away. Her son had been removed from her by court order. That court, recognising the transformation, and on the basis of medical testimony that she no longer abuses drugs, restored her with weekly access to him. She literally looks like a new person. Life was restored to her.

            You say people lie. My friend, I have had more people lie to me than I care to think. You think we don’t know about attention seekers, love cravers, people so desperate to fit in they will say anything and everything? We know. We choose to love them even when they lie to us. When my friend first told us that testimony we financially supported her to go to rehab. Not because we didn’t want to believe her – we believe in the power of God – but because true works of God can withstand any testing. Rehab released her after two weeks. It was apparent to them she was not remotely addicted to anything.

            My friend’s experience is not unique. A young lad who was on the border of death is due back from year-long care in a Christian retreat after being in a similar state. He also was freed from addiction, but we know that the real test comes when you return back to the streets where drug dealers are on speed dial. We will be praying for him through that trial, because we know the Lord is faithful. We know it isn’t over after a month, or six months, six years, or even sixteen years, because others have walked that road and still feel temptation. But we know that works of God withstand the trials of the world.

            My friend, God loves you.

          • Tutanekai

            You helped someone in need. Good for you.

            Now how exactly does this prove that there’s such a thing as god?

            All it really does prove is that you claim to believe in this god. At no point does it prove that he actually exists.

            Whether he does or not though, drug addicts can be rehabilitated with or without reference to him. There are plenty of secular rehab programs.

            It’s interesting that in what seems to be a direct flouting of biblical exhortations not to advertise your good deeds far and wide, you’re not averse to a little self-promotion, are you?

            “Look at us and what good Christians we are! You too can be as wonderful as us if you believe in the Lord!” seems to be your message. It’s rather surprising in its lack of humility.

            Do you really admire your own reflection so much that you believe anyone who looks at it will immediately fall in love with you and be persuaded that god must be at the bottom of your sainted wonderfulness?

            Hmmmm, sorry … not convinced.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I didn’t actually do anything – I said my church provided support, not me. Also neither I nor anyone in my church did anything to remove addiction. The addiction was gone in one night through the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s the testimony of my friend. What followed was merely the proving of that testimony and the support that anyone would give to a friend – post-hoc support which I mentioned because it demonstrated that we don’t just blindly accept every claim that is made.

            Anyone who seeks the Lord will find Him. The Lord seeks out the lost. The Lord restores the weary and the brokenhearted. I don’t believe these things as high and abstract concepts, but real lived-out truths, which I see in those around me.

            God is not at the bottom of any person’s saintliness. But His work is manifest in the transformation of lives. Sometimes this is dramatic, sometimes it is gradual, but in all who have the Holy Spirit, there is transformation and restoration. Everyone needs it. You need it.

          • Tutanekai

            People can turn their lives around for all sorts of reasons. Even when they claim that god has healed them, this constitutes no sort of proof of the existence of god. All it proves is that the person making the claim either believes in god, or has some kind of reason for wanting others to believe that he believes in god.

            Gaining access to a support network and whatever kind of psychological and/or financial aid is offered by your church could well be all the motivation an addict needs to announce a sudden and miraculous conversion. It may even be genuine. Addicts need whatever crutch they can find to help them limp their way through life. A god delusion may well be just the placebo they’re looking for.

            If you can’t provide convincing proof of your god’s existence and are reduced to citing examples of how believing in sprites and phantoms helps the flotsam and jetsam of society turn their lives around, you’ve lost the argument out of the gate.

            Perhaps a god delusion does help some addicts overcome their addiction. But I’m not an addict. So how could it help me? I have no addictions or health issues that need a miraculous cure. I’m doing just fine. So according to your characterisation of god as a miraculous healer, I have no need of god.

            What’s my incentive for believing in god if there’s nothing he can do for me? The god of self-interest seems like a pretty poor deity to me.

          • grutchyngfysch

            It’s certainly true that people with crutches come to the Lord daily – indeed He calls them to Himself. Others are, naturally, called also – but so often prefer the things that are within their control, their assets, the lives they imagine are theirs to construct as they see fit. As you say, the god of self-interest is indeed poor, poorer than its worshippers know, especially when they reject freely offered riches for its poverty.

            I’m thankful that my God is not for self interest, and I’m thankful He has no place for it in the working out of salvation. You see, my friend, I used to have that crutch. Would it surprise you to learn that for years I enjoyed taunting Christians, mocking their superstitious ignorance? Oh, never outright cruelly – I was always the model of politeness in debating with them, never directly personal, abstract enough to call them a liar without naming them as such. I loved knowing more about their texts than they did. Having a better grasp of history and science than they did. I came to love that crestfallen look whenever they couldn’t answer a pointed question. That silence was far more damaging than any angry exchange.

            I could see the positive social and psychological benefits too. My favourite kind of Christian – the one I really understood – was the one who didn’t really believe in anything much at all, but did good social work, provided a useful function. Or the ones who gently and subtly eroded faith in Scripture in their congregations. Wise wolves indeed in a flock with a Shepherd delusion. It didn’t consume me – but I still needed the odd fix. I could go months at a time, but there would be this fleeting, almost imperceptible doubt beneath my certainty. So I would shore my certainty up by exposing myself to idiot Christians. The kinds who really believed in Adam and Eve, who thought the Holy Spirit was real and not just mass hysteria. I’d enjoy those withering articles which disproved yet another miracle or Bible story, or else head to the forums (no Disqus in those days) to duke it out with the usual bunch of angry Christian hypocrites. Any time a crack appeared, I’d chalk it up to the skill of charlatans and smooth it over with a good book.

            God demanded I make a choice not in a meeting or a revival tent, or on an Alpha Course, but on an entirely unremarkable day while I was preparing an article for a conference. Getting showered, actually. I knew for one brief and, frankly horrible, moment that I had two paths stretching before me. I could, if I so wanted, continue on my way. It wouldn’t make me some diabolical villain. I could probably do a lot of good – I could even go to a church and do social work that way if I wanted. Nobody would stop me. But I would know all the while, even if I pushed it down from the surface, that it was rooted in a conscious rejection, a conscious refusal. I couldn’t see at all along the other path. It had only one condition: recognise God and know that I was not, even in the smallest way, He. It came with no offer or promise that things would be more profitable for me: it was simply a stark alternative. Choose to govern your own life, or let God lead.

            On any other day, I would have dismissed it and got back to my article. All just psychological phantoms. But there was Somebody waiting for my decision. Of that I am certain, of that I was certain – so certain that I knew that even if I never thought on the subject again and rejected Him, I would still know in the deepest part of my person that I said No. I didn’t. I said ok, and it has pleased God ever since to instruct me with the same kinds of people who I used to scorn, to encourage me with the same kinds of people I loved to debate and prove wrong.

            So yes, I am familiar with crutches of all kinds. But I am amazed at how many are left lying by the wayside when people say yes to Jesus.

      • The Explorer

        Milton thought the purpose of education was “to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright.” Damage restoration, not improvement.

      • Dreadnaught

        Coming between a Christian and his god delusion is just as fraught with danger
        Bit harsh to single out Christians; most I know are not tantrum throwers and willing to discus with an atheist all sorts of topics, which is why I like this blog that does not seek to have me excluded. There are not many unmoderated sites where you are free to hold a polar opposite view or even loose your rag from time to time.

      • chiefofsinners

        Perfection is God. The human desire for perfection comes from knowledge of our sin.
        Make peace with God.

      • grutchyngfysch

        Curious really that the Church counts among her richest treasures those who far from fleeing in terror at death awaited it calmly and with the sure knowledge that they would not die but live. Indeed, their witness makes it clear that you cannot take away the Giver of Life from them, though you bend all your will to that aim.

        No power of Hell, nor scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.

  • David

    If you want to be a peacemaker, speak the truth softly and carry a very big stick.
    Evil fears both truth and physical force.

  • Inspector General

    By all means talk about peace, Cranmer, but also realise to obtain peace, and it is peace in the Islamic lands we are talking about, are we not, we are going to have to put a large number of people to death, as is happening to ISIS as allied planes and drones visit them right now. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, you know!

    This shouldn’t come as a disappointment, for this is God’s earthly creation we are talking about. We can only act as we find. We had no hand in our design, but we do have a free hand in our conduct. It not only falls to us to deal with the excesses of our fellow humanity, it is damn well expected of us. And in doing so, our efforts entertain our creator.

    When it comes down to it, it is all a matter of race and the traits the members of different races display. A good example of racial trait is how the Nordic race places greater value on the lives of their fellows than those peoples nearer the equator. That is from realising that in the colder climes, co-operation is everything and can achieve great results. This has now become inbred within us. It is present at birth. For other peoples, the fellows they come across are viewed differently. As competitors. As obstacles in the way. At worst, they are viewed as targets to be robbed, or raped, enslaved or killed because they don’t hold the same god as they do.

    So Cranmer, wish for peace in these places until you collapse wearily from exhaustion. It is utterly futile what you are doing. However, if you want to obtain the next best outcome for these wretches, an enforced peace from the presence of a strong arm dictator, that’s a different matter. So let’s hear some support from you for Assad. When it comes to it, one dictator is much the same as another. But they all have one grace in common – they bring peace, eventually.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      G.K.Chesterton published The New Jerusalem in 1920, shortly after his visit to the Middle East. Here are two short excerpts from CHAPTER II: THE WAY OF THE DESERT

      «He who believes in the existence of God believes in the equality of man. And it has been one of the merits of the Moslem faith that it felt men as men, and was not incapable of welcoming men of many different races. But here again it was so hard and crude that its very equality was like a desert rather than a field. Its very humanity was inhuman.»

      «Fanaticism sounds like the flat contrary of common sense; yet curiously enough they are both sides of the same thing. The fanatic of the desert is dangerous precisely because he does take his faith as a fact, and not even as a truth in our more transcendental sense. When he does take up a mystical idea he takes it as he takes the man or the palm-tree; that is, quite literally. When he does distinguish somebody not as a man but as a Moslem, then he divides the Moslem from the non-Moslem exactly as he divides the man from the camel. But even then he recognises the equality of men in the sense of the equality of Moslems. He does not, for instance, complicate his conscience with any sham science about races.»

      I really wonder from where comes your brand of science about races.

      • Inspector General

        Chesterton treating Islam as some delightful foreign curio. How very of the time. Would he write such twaddle today with Europe crawling with them and their weapons, one wonders back to you…

        • IrishNeanderthal

          It may be that the elegance and wit of Chesterton’s language may have given you the wrong impression: in no way did he regard Islam as “a delightful foreign curio”. Here is an extract from an essay entitled Mormonism in The Uses of Diversity:

          «Our real error in such a case is that we do not know or care about the creed itself, from which a people’s customs, good or bad, will necessarily flow. We talk much about “respecting” this or that person’s religion; but the way to respect a religion is to treat it as a religion: to ask what are its tenets and what are their consequences. But modern tolerance is deafer than intolerance. The old religious authorities, at least, defined a heresy before they condemned it, and read a book before they burned it. But we are always saying to a Mormon or a Moslem —” Never mind about your religion, come to my arms.” To which he naturally replies —” But I do mind about my religion, and I advise you to mind your eye.”»

          Perhaps I was mistaken in trying to kill two birds with one stone. I was attempting to point out why Islam might appeal to people such as that West Indian fellow who bad-mouthed the former home secretary John Reid, with no respect to his office; and at the same time to question the source of the science which prompts you to talk about “Nordic” races.

          Were Chesterton alive today, he would be the first to get to the rotten root of modern ideas such as “diversity” in which the same individual (Red Ken being an example) can promote both Islamism and Ligbitism. For the latter, see:

          Racism Isn’t The Problem On Campus, Gender Insanity Is

          • Inspector General

            Thank you for explaining Chesterton. One was rather loathe to condemn his words as twaddle, so context is everything.

            One is very familiar with this gender nonsense from patrolling Pink News. In the last few weeks, the blog has ‘reached out’ to the transgender. As a result, the usual bitterness, anger and disgust in the comments section against the hetro norm has been replaced by vicious in fighting between regular queer types and the emerging she-men. To such an extent that the damn site now resembles an on-line asylum. Oh, one does feel faint just describing it…

            As for the source of one’s science, it’s good old common sense, together with reference to the prison population by ethnicity, amongst other inputs, and the sad realisation that the UK must customise itself to an awful truth – that we now have greater numbers than ever who consider the general population as prey.

    • Remind Jack, Inspector, how far from the equator is Greece?

      • Inspector General

        Your point being…

        • Your *theories* are nonsense.

          • carl jacobs

            “Nonsense” is such a harsh and excluding word. How about “rationally challenged.” Or maybe some traditional British understatement like “Lacking a small degree of intellectual rigor.” Or perhaps “Systemically disconnected.”

            But “nonsense?” That was harsh, Jack. You need to find the Canadian inside you.

          • Jack wanted to say bollocks but thought better of it.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s even less Canadian. You are going the wrong way.

          • Are we talking Canadian Dry Ginger here?

          • carl jacobs

            Do you perhaps mean Canada Dry Ginger Ale?

          • Pedant …

  • The Explorer

    It is a paradox that in the in schools it is often the strictest teachers who do the most to prevent bullying. Under the auspices of those who negotiate about everything, bullying can flourish.

    It is another paradox that the Colt six shooter, the gun that “won the West”, was called the ‘peacemaker’.

    In the US, a surprising number of those who call for gun controls live in gated compounds that are protected by armed guards.

    In this fallen world of ours, peace seems best maintained when it is backed up with the possibility of violence.

  • Inspector General

    The picture chillingly reminds the Inspector of a report on Pink News where homosexuals were hugged just before being thrown off buildings. Clearly, they had been friends with the men who put them to death. So beware of muslims offering to hug you. If Mohamed says you must be put to death, fellow infidel dogs who are unbelievers, then put to death you shall be, hugs or no….

    • The Explorer

      How come the men who hugged them weren’t thrown off buildings as well?

      • Inspector General

        Rather think it takes a bit more than hugging for a man to be deemed homosexual. Fellatio would do it…

        • The Explorer

          Quite. I was merely thinking that to the suspicious minds that throw people off buildings a hug might be indicative of something more. I believe that at one time the Taliban were executing any male who didn’t have a beard.

          • Inspector General

            {GULP!}

          • The Explorer

            Gloucester Taliban are probably a tame version of the species. It was the Afghanistan version I read about.

          • Inspector General

            You mean like the first vaccine against polio which had supposedly been deactivated but was still capable of putting some hapless wretch into an iron lung…

          • The Explorer

            Better hope the Gloucester Taliban aren’t readers of this blog. They might perceive an insult in there somewhere.

  • bockerglory

    Oh Cranmer you have not worked with Moslems and lived with them. I have been told that the bible has been corrupted, the cross is offensive, the very mention that Jesus is God is blasphemy and the true Christians were a sect of Nazarenes who believed Jesus was replaced by Judas on the cross. I have been told that women’s outlined bodies in clothes cause men to son and women should know better. This was from Muslim lawyers who were born and bref in the UK. To hug such a person is to deny Christ.

    • Jack has spent a good part of this week talking with a young Muslim man suffering from brain cancer. He expressed no such views as those you have outlined but he does believe in a loving God who is control of our universe and our lives. Of course, Jack didn’t get into detailed theological arguments with him about those areas where we disagree. Remarkably, (or is it?) we agreed on many areas.

      Jack readily held the hand of this young man and hugged him.

      • Inspector General

        He must have been schooled in the ‘good’ version of the Koran, bless him. You know the one, where it extols muslims to live peacefully with their neighbours…

        • CliveM

          Inspector, Most people want to get on with their neighbours, get married, have children, take pride in watching them grow, look forward to grandchildren, love and be loved. Most don’t want to die or blow themselves up,
          Most parents biggest fear is that their child will pre decease them and that they will have to bury them.

          Even Muslims.

          • Inspector General

            Foolish man, Clive. Have you learnt nothing from the Inspector’s lecture on race tonight?

          • CliveM

            Was there something to learn?

            I’ve said this before, some cultures are corrupt and corrupting. They are not all the same. But we are all made in Gods image, blood and bone and soul.

            Except for the very evil, no mother brings a child into the world to kill.

            Look at European history of the last 100 years, the wars, the genocide, the evil. What way are we morally better?

          • Inspector General

            Beyond measure…

          • Manfarang

            People who live in warm climates tend to be friendly and pleasant, not cold and reserved like northern Europeans.

        • No, he was just a young man trying to make sense of this world, was seeking God and attempting to live according to his understanding of his Creator.

          In fact, it struck Jack he was as ignorant of the Koran and Islam as you are of the Bible and Christianity.

          • Inspector General

            Interesting Jack, that you refer to him as a muslim despite no evidence that he follows the Koran, in as much as he failed to threaten you with death if you did not convert. Yet there you were the other week, denying the Inspector his Christianity. How, well, inconsistent of you, shall we say…

          • Point One: Muslims do not require Christians to convert.
            Point Two: You, by your own words, reveal you are not a Christian.

          • Inspector General

            One accepts he is not a ‘herd’ Christian. The one’s that hang on Jack’s every word as if it were God’s will they are reading…

          • There’s independence of mind and then there’s sheer apostasy. Jack’s posts on Christian beliefs are not based on his own personal opinions but on the teachings of the Church. Yours? They come from your imagination and, in Jack’s view, appear to reflect a spirit of resentment and anger about life that you would do well to reflect on.

          • Inspector General

            Until you cast aside your comfort blanket that Christianity is for you, you will never make even a half decent philosopher.

      • CliveM

        Thought this might interest you, see what it says about the front man of the band!

        Eagles of Death Metal documentary pulled from festival
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34884677

        • sarky

          You would be surprised (as am I) at the number of christians in rock/heavy metal. As usual though, christians pour out the usual ignorant rubbish about satanism and corruption of youth.

          • The Explorer

            “ignorant rubbish about Satanism”.
            Are you saying:
            1. People are ignorant about Satanism. (There is, after all, quite a body of information about it.)
            2. Belief in Satan is evidence of ignorance. (Supernatural explanations for things that should be understood in material terms.)
            And as to the corruption of youth, surely belief in Satan can have a corrupting effect whether Satan exists or not? Nazism may not have been a true explanation of the world, but look at what it did to Nazi Youth.

          • CliveM

            No doubt I’ll be proven wrong, but I thought he meant that to many Christians equate heavy metal with Satanism. When in actual fact it has a lot of Christians active in it.

            Personally I just equate it with bad music!

          • The Explorer

            That may well be it. On the other hand, Sarky and I had an interesting exchange not long ago about Alisteir Crowley, about whom Sarky and I do not have the same opinion. Sarky’s view on Satan, and mine, are rather different.

          • CliveM

            Well I certainly think it has a corrupting influence on taste :0)

      • bockerglory

        It is Islam that concerns me and it is good you show love to that young ill man. However just to hug someone because they are a Muslim is not the way forward. By doing this we are focussing on hugging Islam which is a problem.

        As for your young man, i pray for his soul and that through you he knows the saving love of Jesus Christ.

        Also do not forget there is much confusion amongst south east Asians living in EU as to what is culture and what is religion. Finally we have quite a few Amahdyi Muslims in UK who are a different religion from Islam and are more like Bahai’s I.E. they believe another prophet came after Mohammed called Ahmad ( in 19th century) and Ahmad is their Saviour. Islam rejects Amahdyi.

    • DanJ0

      I work with half a dozen muslims and they’re much the same as everyone else, really. F’sure they hold their own beliefs but so do Christians.

      • Inspector General

        What’s so unnerving about the current examples of impromptu jihad is that the perpetrators were considered ‘normal’ people without any history of the kind of devotion to the Koran that slicing off someone’s head demands…

      • The Explorer

        Very true, and I’m sure many of us could say the same about people we work with.

        But consider 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Mumbai, Nairobi, Nigeria, Drummer Rigby, Tunisia, the immolated Jordanian pilot, Charlie Hebdo, Paris in November or the latest atrocity in Mali. It isn’t everybody doing it. It isn’t everybody in one religion doing it.. But it IS a subset of one religion. They believe that in doing so they are being true to their faith, and the question is why? What is it about the faith that enables so many to misinterpret it, and deny that they are doing so?

  • len

    It crossed my mind that this Muslim could just as easily be wearing a suicide vest.Trust is something that is earned not thrown away as a gesture. The West has also’ thrown open its arms’ in a gesture of goodwill to Muslims and is now being punished as those ‘bad muslims’ who came in with those migrants fleeing for their lives punish the West for their trust….

  • chiefofsinners

    Sometimes, Cranmer, your sermons are like the peace of God. They pass all understanding.

  • The exegesis offered here by Cranmer of the Beatitudes is terrible. 1) The Beatitudes are a single, unified whole – they are sandwiched at the beginning and the end by the same blessing – and 2) they are an introduction to the sermon as a whole. 3) In the context of Matthew’s gospel, they explain what the life of members of Christ’s New Covenant kingdom is to be like. Cranmer, ignoring all that context, has just ripped out one Beatitude and turns it into an absolute statement, devoid of all context. A terrible way to treat the Scriptures.

    • Inspector General

      Blessed be those who do what they are told, what!

      • chiefofsinners

        Blessed are those who expect little, for they shall not be disappointed.

        • Inspector General

          Blessed are those who desert the Conservatives and vote UKIP, for 55 million pounds a day shall be theirs

          • David

            As a successful, opportunistic political commentator, you are incomparable, Inspector. Long may it continue Sir !

          • Inspector General

            Thank you David. One does consider it a triumph when opportunism opens its legs, to reveal the rotten belly of what many hold so dear…

          • CliveM

            For £55m a day, I would even vote for them. Where do I sign up, when will the first payment be made?

    • David

      Good observation. Scriptural context is everything if one is to understand and present the meaning of any passage. That is not what one would expect from a learned Church of England cleric, even of this godless age.